Heroine of the Harbor
Posted by Jay Stagnitto
Written by Jason Stagnitto
Screenplay, 109 pages (Drama)
Viewed by: 41 Members
Uploaded: Nov 03, 2015
Latest Draft: Jun 17, 2021
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When a brave, but reclusive young woman gains unwanted fame for her heroic harbor rescues, some members of 19th-century society work to stop her from becoming one of the first official lighthouse keepers in history.
Representation & Attached Talent
If you are looking for a low-budget, strong female character-driven story, based on a real person and actual events, then this is YOUR script! Much of the story takes place in a primary location, another bonus. The main storyline has both internal and external conflict and is rounded out by several relationship-driven subplots. If any of these come close to what you are looking for in a film, I encourage you to give this script a chance.
Ida Lewis's calling in life is in service of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island. Her tireless work to keep the light burning and her heroic boat rescues bring unprecedented fame and unwanted notoriety to Ida's quiet life. Her true desires in life are to be the official keeper and be left alone to do her beloved work. However, political personalities and social realities in the late 19th century have a different idea of a woman's role in society.
HEROINE OF THE HARBOR explores the life of service and sacrifice that Ida Lewis gave to the town and people of Newport. As early as her teenage years, Ida displays remarkable skill and courage as she rescues distressed mariners in the dangerous harbor. Above all, she keeps the light burning bright. But she is not the official keeper of the lighthouse. That title belongs to her father Hosea, by federal appointment, a role given only to men during this time. As long as he is the keeper, the family stays at the lighthouse that Ida loves.
Despite Ida's heroism, not everyone sings Ida's praise. In many circles, a woman who performs the role of a man is shunned and ridiculed. This belief is shared prominently by Newport's Mayor Atkinson and his son Sam. He wants nothing more than for Ida to conform to societal norms and leave the lighthouse tending to her father.
Through her rescues, Ida meets William and the two share a spark, kindled by their love of the sea. Their relationship grows and eventually, this leads to marriage, but William's life keeps him and Ida apart.
Ida's fame takes a national turn when she and her older brother Rudolph save two soldiers in a daring, storm-driven rescue. Her heroic actions are not without tragedy as Ida is unable to rescue her younger brother Thomas. His death and the subsequent stroke suffered by Hosea upends Ida's life and causes internal doubt. Ida feels her life spin out of control as tourists come from far and wide to see Ida of the famous rescues and the lighthouse she tends to.
After Hosea succumbs to the complications of the stroke and feeling lost and uncertain of her place within the lighthouse or society, Ida leaves with William to his home in Black Rock, CT. Life there does not improve as Ida's sense of worth is not fulfilled as a housewife. She finds renewed purpose when Ida meets Kate. She is a woman who, like Ida, tends the lighthouse while her husband holds the title of the keeper. Through this friendship, Ida learns that she is not alone in suffering a tragic loss, self-doubt, ridicule for the life she chose. Ida's life with William ends as she leaves him to return to the life she loves.
Ida's determination to become the first official woman lighthouse keeper is as strong as ever. However, Mayor Atkinson was busy securing a new appointment after the death of Hosea left the position vacant. Ida takes matters into her own hand as she confronts Mayor Atkinson and reveals to him that she saved his son Sam and that if she was his idea of a woman, Mayor Atkinson would have lost his son that day.
Life at the lighthouse tests Ida again when two Ice Fishermen fall through the ice. Ida races into action with Rudolph and they manage to pull the two Ice Fishermen from the frigid water. However, the ice gives way beneath Ida as she plunges into the paralyzing cold of the harbor. For a fleeting moment, Ida accepts this fate. But through her stubborn nature and will to live, she grabs the line sent down by Rudolph and narrowly avoids death.
Several days pass as Ida recovers from the ordeal. She awakes to the news that she has been officially appointed as keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse, fulfilling her life-long dream and becoming one of the first women in history to hold such a title.
HEROINE OF THE HARBOR is a family-friendly story of determination, perseverance, and belief in one's self. How one person with enough grit and determination can overcome the social and political norms of the time to trail-blaze a path for future generations to follow.